Fentanyl is the medication that has recently been in the media as a great deal. It has been playing a fatal role in the current crisis on overdose opioid crisis. The leading cause of the crisis is the illegal use of opioids for non-medicinal purposes. Other drugs that are stronger than Fentanyl replacement have been confirmed to contain a variety of medications of unknown strength. Read the below description to become more informed about the use of fentanyl.
Benefits when used properly and safely
Fentanyl has many benefits to patients, especially when used properly. It has been proved to work efficiently for severe pain treatment in hospitals. In fact, when opioids are appropriately prescribed, particularly in the control of pain, which goes hand in hand with watching it closely for effect, there will more serious uncommon health problems.Besides, overdose and addiction are unique, but they happen when the medicine is:
- Prescribed inappropriately
- Not appropriately overseen by the healthcare team
- Used inappropriately
- Failure to follow proper instructions
The body becomes tolerant when an individual becomes used to opioid medication. This means that there would be a need to increase medication so that the body can get the same pain effect. This is not the same as addiction as if one can change to a different medication stronger than fentanyl, particularly when tolerance becomes an ongoing problem.
Addiction happens when an individual has an overwhelming preoccupation with obtaining more medication. This has almost an overall effect on an individual’s life in terms of relationships, employment, and behavior. According to the addiction and mental health Centre, the presence of the 4 Cs can act as a simple way of describing as shown below
- Loss of control of both amount and frequency of use
- Compulsion to use
- Use despite consequences
It is essential to note that addiction rarely develops when people use opioids in palliative care as prescribed by their healthcare personnel to mitigate symptoms.
Use of fentanyl patches
Fentanyl is usually used with a patch (transdermal patch), which is placed on the skin. The patch is recommended only to be used in treating long-term stable pain that is appropriately managed with the current medication.Nonetheless, the following is a highlight on the way the fentanyl patch need to be used;
- They should be used with people who have previously been proven to take opioids doses consistently for not less than seven days.
- An opioid naïve individual is advised not to take fentanyl. The same applies to someone who has intermittent or acute pain.
When initiating the use of fentanyl, the health care team would be expected to advise you on:
- Appropriate time of starting a patch
- The other type of medication to be stopped
- The type of short-acting pain medication to continue using to manage breakthrough pain
Transdermal fentanyl patches have been confirmed to cause serious injuries; therefore, one should carry out appropriate mitigation measures such as;
- Storing and handling them carefully.
Take the medication as prescribed by medical personnel.